Moritsuna’s War Camp


Moritsuna Jinya

A family torn apart by war as brothers find themselves on opposite sides of the battlefield

The brothers Moritsuna and Takatsuna become enemies on the battlefield. The former, sent to examine his brother’s head, finds that it is fake, but realizes the truth when his brother’s son makes the ultimate sacrifice.


by Terada Shima

Anguish of the Sasaki brothers

Yoritomo’s son Yoriie and government regents led by Tokimasa are fighting for power after Yoritomo’s death. Moritsuna is on Tokimasa’s side, while his younger brother Takatsuna finds himself fighting for Yoriie. During the battle, Takatsuna’s son Koshiro is taken hostage.


Visit by General Wada

General Wada comes on behalf of Takatsuna to demand the return of the latter’s son. Moritsuna replies that the boy was captured on the orders of Tokimasa and cannot be returned without the leader’s express approval. Wada thus goes to the main camp to negotiate directly with Tokimasa.

Wada Hidemori(Nakamura Kichiemon) April 2013 Kabukiza Theatre


Moritsuna’s request to his mother

Moritsuna goes to his mother and asks her to persuade her grandchild to commit ritual suicide. She is shocked. Moritsuna says Tokimasa wants to use the boy as a lure to attract Takatsuna. He cannot kill the boy to prevent that, since that would go against his master. If she permits the suicide, it will save Takatsuna. She accepts this as the samurai way.

[from left]Sasaki Moritsuna(Kataoka Nizaemon)、Mimyo(Kataoka Hidetaro) October 2010 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre


Exchange of arrow with letter

An arrow with a letter is shot into a maple tree in the camp. Moritsuna’s wife opens it to reveal a poem from the captive’s mother. She interprets this as a message to the boy to escape. She fires back an arrow with the message to wait for the proper time.

Kagaribi(Nakamura Kaishun) October 2010 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre


Koshiro’s plea and war report

Koshiro learns about his mother’s message, but his grandmother tearfully urges him to commit suicide. Koshiro runs and tries to reach his mother. The grandmother blocks them and pulls out her sword, but, unable to kill her grandchild, takes him into the back. His mother is confronted by Moritsuna’s wife. A war report then comes with an update on Takatsuna on the battlefield. This is followed by a second report saying that Takatsuna has been killed.

【Left】[from left]Koshiro(Matsumoto Kintaro)、Mimyo(Nakamura Tozo) April 2013 Kabukiza Theatre 【Center1】[from left]Hayase(Kataoka Takataro)、Kagaribi(Nakamura Kaishun) October 2010 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre 【Center2】Shigaraki Taro(Nakamura Hashinosuke) April 2013 Kabukiza Theatre 【Right】Ibuki Tota(Ichikawa Danshiro) March 2005 Kabukiza Theatre


Tokimasa and the head inspection

The regent Tokimasa visits the war camp. The purpose is to have Moritsuna inspect the head of Takatsuna to identify it. When Moritsuna opens the bucket containing the head, he finds that the head is fake. However, Koshiro immediately runs at it shouting, “Father!” and commits suicide. Moritsuna, surprised, realizes that the suicide was an attempt to convince Tokimasa that the head was real. In respect for Koshiro’s sacrifice, Moritsuna lies and identifies the head as Takatsuna. The regent is pleased. He leaves a box with armor as a reward and departs.

【Left】Hojo Tokimasa(Kataoka Gato) October 2010 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre 【Right】[from top]Hojo Tokimasa(Nakamura Karoku)、Sasaki Moritsuna(Nakamura Kichiemon) September 2008 Kabukiza Theatre


Emotional Moritsuna praises dying nephew

Moritsuna calls Koshiro’s mother and allows her to meet her dying son. He says while he remains loyal to Tokimasa, he hid the truth due to the actions of his brother and nephew. He praises Koshiro’s dedication. Koshiro dies to the lamentations of his grandmother, mother and aunt. In order to take responsible for his own betrayal, Moritsuna starts to commit suicide. Then General Wada appears with a gun. He seems to be aiming at Moritsuna, but shoots instead at the armory box, where a spy is hiding. Wada says that a suicide now would give away Takatsuna’s plan and ruin it. If Moritsuna wants to do his duty, he says, he should wait until Takatsuna returns with another attack. The general then takes back the enemy flag that had been captured by Moritsuna and departs.

【Left】[from left]Sasaki Moritsuna(Nakamura Kanzaburo)、Kagaribi(Nakamura Fukusuke)、Koshiro(Nakamura Kotaro)、Hayase(Nakamura Kaishun)、Mimyo(Nakamura Shikan) March 2005 Kabukiza Theatre 【Right】[from left]Wada Hidemori(Nakamura Kichiemon)、Sasaki Moritsuna(Kataoka Nizaemon)、Kagaribi(Nakamura Tokizo)、Koshiro(Matsumoto Kintaro)、Hayase(Nakamura Shibajaku)、Mimyo(Nakamura Tozo) April 2013 Kabukiza Theatre